About Johannes Brahms's Liebeslieder Waltzes
These waltzes pay tribute to the "Waltz King" Johann Strauss Jr., for whom Brahms expressed great admiration.
They were written for vocal quartet with four-hand piano, but the original publication is marked “for piano duet and voice ad libitum”, indicating that the voices are optional.
This direction, made possible by the fact that most of the vocal lines are duplicated in the piano part, was evidently inserted by the publisher, who hoped to increase sales. The voices are clearly necessary for a satisfying performance of the work. The texts to the original are from folk poetry of various languages, translated into German by Georg Friedrich Daumer in his Polydora: A World-Poetic Songbook.